A fresh update to Visual Studio 2017 and the next preview

John Montgomery

In his Build 2017 keynote, Scott Guthrie made several announcements across partnerships, new Azure service capabilities, and the Visual Studio family. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the keynote, check out ScottGu’s blog post. The recording of the keynote should be available later. From a Visual Studio product family perspective, the significant announcements are:

  • The general availability of Visual Studio for Mac
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2
  • Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview
  • A preview of .NET Standard 2.0 support in .NET Core

Here’s a little more about each of these announcements.

Visual Studio for Mac

Among the Visual Studio announcements, the most prominent was the general availability of Visual Studio for Mac. If you use a Mac as your dev machine, I recommend downloading Visual Studio for Mac as you read the rest of this post.

Visual Studio for Mac is an end-to-end solution for developers on macOS looking for high productivity and seamless coordination across teams of any size. It includes full support for mobile, web, and cloud workloads, as well as game development support with Unity 5.6.1. The release we’re making available today enables developers to create mobile apps with Xamarin and C#, including creating a mobile backend with ASP.NET Core. For web application developers, it includes full support for ASP.NET Core, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, with the same great web tooling support you already know and love in Visual Studio. Brand new is the addition to develop and debug Unity games, with a Unity-specific solution explorer view, as well as syntax highlighting for script. Read the post from Miguel that has in-depth coverage of Visual Studio for Mac. Check out the Visual Studio for Mac release notes to get the complete list of features.

In addition to the GA release, we’ll be making previews available soon with support for Docker, Azure Functions and IoT devices like Android Things.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2 is now available for download. This release delivers both bug fixes and new functionality. If you are an existing Visual Studio 2017 user, you will be notified of the availability of the update within the IDE. Learn how to get the latest updates.

Highlights in this release include the addition of the Python Workload and Data Science Workload (which includes R, Python, and F#), support for TypeScript 2.2, an update to install Unity 5.6 in the game workload and support for Xamarin 4.5 with Android SDK Manager (managing Android SDKs from Visual Studio). We also made feature improvements to the C++ Linux tools and RedGate ReadyRoll is now integrated into the Data workload. Check out the Visual Studio 2017 release notes for the complete list of features and bug fixes.

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview

Today, we are also making available Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview. Download Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview to try it. If you already have it installed, check out these steps on how to keep your preview up to date. Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview delivers bug fixes, improvements in accessibility, and new functionality. Some of the notable features included in this preview are .NET Core 2.0 preview support (including some Visual Basic and F#), support for Windows Nano and Linux Docker containers, and Nano debugging support for Docker. You can now easily configure Office 365 services using Microsoft Graph from Connected Services. Additionally, this preview has improvements to Live Unit Testing (e.g. support for .NET Core and improvements to usability with large solutions). In addition, this preview includes more C++ standard conformance. The Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview release notes have a complete list.

Please note, preview releases are designed to provide you a peek into what we have in the pipeline and are not recommended for use in production environments. The preview can be installed side by side with the released version of Visual Studio. This means you can use Visual Studio 2017 for your stable production work and Visual Studio 2017 Update Preview to get access to the upcoming new features.

.NET Standard 2.0 Support in .NET Core 2.0 Preview

In the .NET world, we released a preview of .NET Core 2.0 with support for .NET Standard 2.0. .NET Standard defines a uniform set of APIs for all .NET platforms so developers can write once and run on multiple .NET runtimes. .NET Standard 2.0 adds support for XML, Serialization, Networking, IO, and more. It now contains over 2500 types and 33,000 members.

The .NET Core 2.0 release also consolidates .NET Core into one package reference. And we updated Visual Studio Live Unit Testing and CodeLens to support .NET Core projects in version 15.3 of Visual Studio 2017 Preview . We have also released ASP.NET Core 2.0 preview today in the Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview, which now includes SignalR for real-time web functionality based on WebSockets, as well as Web Pages using Razor syntax, a lightweight syntax for combining server code with HTML. .NET Core 2.0 Preview is a separate install but it requires the preview of Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 to be installed first. Download .NET Core 2.0 preview.

New benefits for Visual Studio Subscribers

Finally, we announced the availability of a new learning benefit for Visual Studio subscribers: Opsgility. Opsgility is a Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around a network of industry experts and technical authors that includes MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries. Starting today, Visual Studio Professional subscribers are entitled to a 6-month membership plan to Opsgility full catalog including on-demand content and hands-on-labs. At the same time, Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers can unlock a full year of Opsgility course catalog and full lab guides, up to 4 hours of cloud readiness planning session with a Senior Cloud Solution Architect and a team subscription with up to 5 licenses. Subscribers just need to sign in to My Visual Studio portal (http://my.visualstudio.com) to activate their new Opsgility benefit. Check back on this blog for a detailed post on this topic.

Try it out and please give feedback

Today we announced the availability of both Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2 as well as Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview. Download both today!

Visual Studio 2017 version 15.2 and Visual Studio 2017 version 15.3 Preview have a lot of new and improved features for you to try. For the complete list of what is included in this release, along with some known issues, check out the Visual Studio 2017 Release Notes.

If you have further questions, read the Visual Studio 2017 FAQ for other commonly asked questions. Want to know more about compatibility, check out Visual Studio 2017 compatibility and Visual Studio 2017 system requirements. Also, be sure to read this article to learn about offline installations.

As always, we welcome your feedback. For problems, let us know via the Report a Problem option in the upper right corner, either from the installer or the Visual Studio IDE itself. Track your feedback on the developer community portal. For suggestions, let us know through UserVoice.


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